Mayor confirms free travel will be restored for Londoners over 60

04 July 2012

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has announced that Londoners who reach 60 years of age will be able to apply for a new type of Oyster photocard being launched this autumn, which will restore their entitlement to free travel on Transport for London services 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

In his election manifesto the Mayor pledged to address the increasing age of qualification for free travel in the capital. The age at which people qualify for a London Council’s Freedom Pass has been rising on an escalator system since April 2010 and means Londoners now have to be 61 years old to qualify for a pass.

The new card being launched by the Mayor will be known as the 60+ Concessionary Travel Scheme and more than 100,000 applications are expected before it goes live. It will bridge the gap for Londoners who reach 60 years old and will cover their free use of the Tube, DLR, London Overground, bus and tram services until they become eligible for a Freedom Pass.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “Tens of thousands of Londoners were quite rightly incensed by the age escalator affecting the Freedom Pass, which meant their right to free travel was rapidly disappearing over the horizon. That is why I am very pleased to be able to set out plans for a new Oyster card that yanks this important concession back into place; and means Londoners who have reached three score years of age will have their right to free travel in our great city reinstated.”

Transport for London are covering the full cost of the 60+ Concessionary Travel Scheme, which they expect to begin operation on November 1 with the application process being made available online from late October. The application process will be primarily online, but alternative arrangements will be available for those unable to access the internet.

London Councils have agreed to work closely with TfL to ensure that the switch between 60+ Concessionary Travel and the Freedom Pass is made as seamless as possible. A full announcement on how to apply for the new scheme and details of how it will work will be made in September.

Notes to editors

  • The age of entitlement to a London Council’s Freedom Pass, for both men and women, has been rising in line with the state retirement age for women.
  • From April 2010 the retirement age for women has been rising by one month, every two months. In April 2012, two years on, the retirement age for women and hence the age of entitlement to a Freedom Pass, for both men and women, reached 61.
  • The Mayor has elected to offer his own equivalent of the London Freedom Pass to bridge the gap between age 60 and the rising age of Freedom Pass entitlement. This new pass will offer free travel 24/7 on all TfL services. Unlike the Freedom Pass, the new pass will not be valid on bus services in the rest of England outside London.
  • The new concession will be available through an Oyster photocard. This will be the same basic design as those photocards used for other adult concessionary schemes, such as 18+ Student or Veteran.
  • The new concession will mirror the existing London Council’s Freedom Pass within the London area. This means it will be accepted at all times on Tube, DLR, London Overground, bus and tram services and on inter-available National Rail services. On other National Rail services in London, it will be accepted from 0930 on weekdays and all day at weekends.
  • The concession will expire when a customer’s age reaches the age of eligibility for the London Councils Freedom Pass. Like all TfL concessionary photocards, the expiry date will be encoded on the card and printed on the front. When the customer reaches the date of eligibility for the Freedom Pass TfL can, with the customer's consent, transfer their application data to London Councils for issuance of a Freedom Pass without the need for a new application.
  • Application for the new concession will primarily be online. Where these on-line checks cannot be made or fail and customers cannot complete their application online, they will be able to print off their part completed applications and take them to a Post Office with the required proofs of eligibility.
  • Proofs of eligibility will be similar to those accepted by the London Councils.
  • A paper application form will be available for any applicants who do not apply on-line. This form will be available on calling TfL or its card contractor.
  • A £10 administration fee will be payable for new photocards and replacement cards, unless the card has failed. Replacement cards will be available by online application. This approach matches that for other TfL concessionary schemes.